Bacon. Hot Dogs. Mac and cheese. Kids with autism tend to have limited diets, and introducing new foods is not an easy task. So what's to do? Foraging! Eat wild foods.
eating elm samaras right off the tree
As the Isaacson's rode across Mongolia they supplemented Rowan's diet of mostly bacon with dandelions and other wild greens. We've also found foraging to be a great way to get our kids eating healthy, seasonal foods without the pressure of trying to introduce something new at the dinner table.
Foraging is a treasure hunt for the senses. For one, you are outside, moving around, walking, running, climbing, having fun, exploring. The learning opportunities are endless. You're learning about the plants, the seasons, the weather, the animals that live nearby. If you go in a group you are practicing social skills, interacting with others. And your reward for all that fun? Good food, a healthier body, friendship, and a flood of oxytocin.
Eat enough wild foods and you no longer worry that your kids won't touch a salad at the table. They can eat their salads outside, in nature, where salads grow. And as they get used to that it will be easier to bring the healthy foods inside and get them on to their plates.
Use their interests to steer them this way if you have to. Make a game of it. Draw a map to a an apple tree. When Fynn was into dinosaurs he wanted to eat "Tree Stars" (like in the land before time) so we found a bunch of edible leaves and started eating them. He loved it, and now he can identify them on his own.
He's also learned to identify poison hemlock, the world's most deadly plant. Any time he sees some he will tell anyone around what it is and not to eat it. He feels like he is saving their lives and it's a huge confidence booster for him. It makes him really happy to help people.
So find some good books, or videos online. Ask questions, we're glad to help. Find a class or someone who offers private or group tours-But mostly, go outside. Start with the dandelions in your yard. Kids love them, and they are one of natures' most nutritious foods. Learning this valuable skill will only make you a happier, healthier person, and it will provide countless chances to bond with your loved ones.
cattail- abundant and always a favorite with the kids